Nearly a week after the start of a heated legal battle, the White House decided on Monday that it would fully restore the CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials. In response, CNN announced that its lawsuit is “no longer necessary.”
“We look forward to continuing to cover the White House,” the network said in a statement.
The decision came in the form of a letter Monday from Bill Shine, the White House deputy chief of staff for communications, and Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary. The Trump administration revoked Acosta’s press pass after he clashed with President Trump on November 7 at a post-midterms news conference. “Having received a formal reply from your counsel to our letter of November 16, we have made a final determination in this process: your hard pass is restored,” Shine and Sanders wrote. “Should you refuse to follow these rules in the future, we will take action in accordance with the rules set forth above. The President is aware of this decision and concurs.”
Shine and Sanders were the same authors of a Friday letter saying that the White House would revoke Acosta’s credentials once a 14-day temporary restraining order issued last week by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly expired.
In reversing course, the letter from Shine and Sanders set forth rules of decorum governing press briefings, including that journalists “will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists.” Follow-up questions can be granted at the “discretion of the President” or the White House official leading the briefing. The penalty for not abiding by the rules: “suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass.”